I admired the perfume company Demeter which had a minimalist personality, like a chic loft in New York City. It was all words, glass, and chrome. The occasional block of color was the backup group for the point of the blend. I saw what they did, but that wasn’t me. I am a different creature entirely. Once a frienemy of mine came mincing up to me at an art opening and cooed,”You are so very good at art history, Fabienne. Too bad you can’t make a living on it! Ha Ha Ha Ha Haaaaa!” Pretty mean of her, I would say. It was true. I was great at something which is utterly useless, unless you are a professor of Art History, or run an art tour company. It was just her way of telling me that I was programmed to be powerless because I was good at something. That thought depressed me and made me somewhat ashamed of being good at art history. I didn’t like to think that I was proving over and over that I was a silly lady every time I opened my mouth about painting.
So, there I sat thinking about what I wanted my company to be like. What would the flavor, feel, schtick, brand of Possets be like? I chose the name Possets because I liked the sound of it and it meant a sweet and attractive smelling thing which made life happier. An archaic word (again, the powerlessness of knowing lots of obsolete words from days gone by, silly lady). There were loads of companies out there with dark badass persona, lots of modern chrome and glass ones, some were themed on knights of old, some were sort of confusing themes loaded with stock photos, some were obviously the girly tangle of the creator’s mind with scant harmony running through. There were some with a constant theme playing through the collections and they were the most attractive to me. They seemed to succeed best when the theme was like the interests of the creator. So, Possets quickly became a place where I could use my knowledge of art history proudly and even fiercely. The images were the most lovely every produced, and they could come from anywhere. My area of expertise is Western European 1300-19th century mostly, but I have a burning curiosity about the art of other cultures, too.
When I was a child, my mother and I saw the painting Venus and Mars by Sandro Botticelli. It had just been cleaned and was on display for the first time. I was amazed by it and no one else seemed to know about it. Everyone knows The Birth Of Venus but not this fabulous horizontal piece. When I thought about what I would want my company spokesman to look like, if I could have anyone the reclining Venus came to mind. And so she is the Possets Girl.
Over the years, the design of my site has changed from the image on the lower left hand side to the Possets Girl hovering above the page and appearing in the slideshow in different guises. She is my lead figure on my business card and the universal figure on my labels. I have known her for decades and never get tired of her.
This year I have decided to celebrate my new website with an exploration of painting. I have loved my jaunts through poetry and music but painting will always be my first love.
This is part of a series of essays about the origins of Possets Perfume. It is written to go with the Retour event which is going on now at Possets where Fabienne, the perfumer, re releases all of the perfumes she has ever made for two weeks. All of the scent which was in past seasonal collections can be re bought and stocked up now. It is being sold in 6, 10, 15, and 30 ml bottles so you can keep yourself in your favorite Posset forever. Go there and see for yourself!